Posted by: Ian | November 14, 2011

A note from Cervelo on Which Cervelo?

After writing my last post (Which Cervelo and Which Zipps?), I posted the following question to Cervelo support:

I’ve read the answers on the Knowledge Base given in reply to questions about the comparative stiffness and comfort of the R3 v. the S2. I’m making the same comparison now in choosing between an R3 and an S5. The tipping point presentation you have on the stiffness/weight balance is great. Do you have similar *quantitative* analytics on the difference in *comfort* between your frames? Given that I’ll be riding the same bars, stem, wheels and tyres whichever bike I get, it would be great to have a measure of (a) what proportion of road noise gets transmitted to the contact points; (b) to what extent this is affected by the frameset for a given set of components; (c) how this varies between the S5 and the R3. For pure speed, it’s clear that the S5 is better. However, I want to balance this against how I’ll feel after 100 miles of riding. Many thanks!

It was perhaps optimistic to hope for a reply detailing a new lab measure of transmitted road noise, or comfort, but at least they replied promptly, as follows:

Hello Ian,

I can say that the newest R3’s and the S5 both share our BBright based frame architecture that improves BB stiffness.  Ultimately the squoval design features of the R3 will continue to give it the edge in terms of overall stiffness.  Ultimate stiffness may matter you, but both frames will supply performance that exceeds most riders needs.
Comfort is something that most of us are looking for in bike.  With that it mind it may surprise you to learn that there really is no way to quantitatively assess frame comfort relative to one another.  Various people are working on such a test, but so far results have not consistently matched actual riders opinions.  That tends to make the assessment methods invalid.  As such comfort continues to be an entirely subjective rider experience.
Many riders do prefer the R3 in term of perceived compliance.  It’s not wrong to let user reports to influence your final choice.  To develop you own opinions, work with a shop to take test rides if at all possible.
Enjoy the ride.


Cervélo Customer Support


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